LAWRENCE — Longtime University of Kansas staff member Precious Porras has been named interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“Precious Porras has demonstrated an ability to guide this important office and work collaboratively with individuals and offices across campus,” said Nate Thomas, vice provost for diversity and equity. “Her experience and background will ensure OMA continues to lead the campus community through meaningful discussions that aim to strengthen our diversity education and retention efforts.”
The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides support and services for current and prospective students from historically marginalized populations. OMA staff members oversee programs and provide services that enhance student retention and support academic, personal and professional development of students. The office also presents diversity and social justice education programs that foster inclusive learning environments at KU. At the 2015 Diversity Symposium in April, OMA played a key role with vice provosts, deans, faculty and staff to develop strategies to improve campus climate, bolster recruitment and retention efforts, and enact campuswide cultural competency training.
Porras first came to KU in 2005 as a Hawk Link retention specialist for the office. In 2006 she was named assistant director of diversity education at OMA. Most recently, she has served as associate director. In that role she has taught courses, facilitated cultural education workshops, served as an adjunct adviser and coordinated diversity education programs on campus. Porras fills the position left vacant by the departure of Blane Harding for the University of Nevada, Reno.
Porras is completing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at KU. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Northwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in counselor education from Emporia State University.